A 39-year-old man clad in a T-shirt and a sparkly purple tutu was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of stealing musical instruments and electronic equipment from a church in Allied Gardens, San Diego police said.
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A neighborhood resident reported seeing the suspect place a guitar amplifier in a truck about 4:10 a.m. outside the Palisades Presbyterian Church at 6301 Birchwood Street near Waring Drive, according to police.
Officers arrived, set up a perimeter and found the suspect, identified by police as 39-year-old Joshua Baker allegedly carrying a trash can with property inside, police said.
The man, who is roughly 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs about 200 pounds, dropped the property and ran northbound, between two buildings, police said.
An officer gave chase and the suspect jumped a chain-link fence and headed west into the church parking lot, where another officer was waiting. During the chase, the suspect's clothing came off and he was taken into custody in the nude, police said.
"Without the help of the great citizen we would not have found this person because there was no burglar alarm," said San Diego Police Sgt. Dean Thomas.
Officers then brought the man who had reported the break-in to the area, and he identified the suspect as the alleged thief.
Baker was arrested on suspicion of burglary and delaying a peace officer, police said.
"It makes me glad that they are neighbors that pay attention and watch. This is a church. We're here to worship God," said Eric Abegglen, a musician at the church.
Janice Klick has been with the church for 26 years. She said someone tried to break in just two weeks ago, but little was taken.
"Especially in this economy, for some reason the church is the thing that gets pushed to the back and I think every church now a days is hurting and not being able to meet their missions," said Klick, who is currently the church secretary.
Klick is thankful all of the equipment was recovered and Sunday services will not be disrupted.
Baker is being held on $25,000 bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Friday afternoon.
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